The Church at Laodicea

“These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God (v.14)”Unlike the other churches in the Asia Minor mentioned in the Book we have here the Risen Christ in his glory laying emphasis of the primacy of the Father. He introduces himself to the angel as ‘true and faithful witness of God’. He is the Amen, the Son in the Father-Son relationship.
The specific reference to the creation Day is vivid. In their relationship He rounds off the Will. In the Gospel of John we find this statement, “All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made (Jn.1:3).”My Father worketh hitherto, and I work (Jn.5:17).” In the Genesis Account we have the creation of God treated in one sentence: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Ge.1:1). “And I work” which refers to the ongoing work that shall culminate only when the New Jerusalem shall descend from God, the Father. Now keeping the context we may review his rebuke to the church is administered on behalf of the Father as well as in his own right as the Son. He is the Amen: in our prayer of men which we dare not address our Father (which art in heaven), without the Amen of our standing.

“I know thy works..” The church became a lukewarm church because of a few reasons which are found mention in the vv.16-18.They are poor miserable and naked. Paradox of wealth with the leanness of spirit is the means to bring their true state in sharper relief. Nakedness of a church is self-righteousness of the members in display, in surfeit of goods they possess. We find Jesus admonishes them, “And white raiment that thou mayest be clothed…(v.18)” Righteousness in the lexicon of the Spirit is a garment to which St Paul refers, “…Being clothed, we shall not be found naked(2 Co.5:3).’ It is for this we groan while we are in the flesh in order to be found righteous. Faith of any believer must squarely stand upon the promises and in the eternal Godhead in whom there is no variableness. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (v.1). When we consider we are rich because of wealth what we need remember is our faith tried in the fire is far more precious. Would it mean that a child of God must necessarily go through trials? No, not by any means. But the condition of a child of God sets him in opposition with the worldly for whom comfort and luxury is symptomatic of worldly success.”…Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God(Jas.4:4). We cannot choose both God and mammon.”If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you(Jn.15:19)”. One cannot abide in Christ while running with those who chase the material advantages. In short you chose God by denying mammon. Either or. If you choose world and the pleasures thereof these are cutting into the time you spend for neglecting the needs of your inner man. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.(Jn.16:33-NIV)” Here we see two antithetical statement with regards to the material circumstances and of the inner man.When we committed our eternity with Jesus Christ we may be put to many inconveniences and it speaks our material circumstances. When the Church at Laodicea is found neither hot nor cold it explained rather colorfully their real state. They were serving both God and mammon.
God looks at us in not the way we judge people and things. God hates double-minded people and we have from the life of Prophet Elijah, “Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.(1 Ki.18:21-NIV)”
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…(v.19)” His call to repentance is not to any one from the street but to the church that is purchased by his blood. It is of his mercies that we are consumed for our lapses and the church was kept because of the long-suffering nature of God. When Christ says,’buy of me faith tried in fire’ the meaning is learn of me as son of the father. Jesus set an example for us to learn from. Our chastening are as sons, for He did not spare His own; neither will he while we may be amenable to correction. (Heb.12:7).
Benny

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About bennythomas

I am a Dutch citizen. An architect by profession I am married and have six grandchildren. I am still keen on expressing myself and each day is new and an occasion where I might bring out from within something worthwhile.
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